Arts and Culture
Creative Commons for Arts and Culture
At Creative Commons Aotearoa New Zealand, we believe that a vibrant culture depends on an accessible ‘commons,’ that global store of works available for creative reuse. With the rise of the internet and digital technologies, the commons is more accessible than ever. As a result, we now enjoy an extraordinarily rich culture of sharing, remix and reuse.
The free Creative Commons licences allow rights holders a range of options for openly releasing their work, while remaining within the framework of copyright. Whether you’re sharing an epic poem, some holiday snapshots or a short film, your Creative Commons licences will tell the public what they can use and how they can use it. We offer a range of licence options, ranging from more free to more restrictive, which you can read about here.
Why Use Creative Commons?
There are many reasons for artists to use Creative Commons. Some artists want to add to the commons, and help build an active culture of sharing, remix and reuse. Others want to take advantage of the internet to distribute their work, recognising that obscurity is often the greatest barrier to making a living.
If you’re an artist thinking about using a Creative Commons licence, the best thing to do is to read the case studies of working artists using CC, below, and also read more about the licences.
Creative Commons and Publicly Funded Culture
In New Zealand, a great deal of our culture is taxpayer funded, including everything from television and feature films to theatre and poetry. Public funding agencies, including NZ On Air and CreativeNZ, spend millions of dollars each year subsidising the production of New Zealand culture, ensuring that New Zealanders can read, watch and listen to local works.
At present, just about all of this publicly funded work is locked away under ‘all rights reserved’ copyright, which generally lasts for the life of the author plus fifty years. Compounding this is the fact that almost all New Zealand culture falls from commercial circulation well before this date. This means that an enormous amount of publicly funded cultural works will be unavailable to the public for decades to come.
We believe that publicly funded cultural work should be made available under an open licence as soon as possible, especially if that work is no longer commercially available. Because creativity builds on the past, making these works available will provide future creators — from documentary makers to bedroom musicians — a richer store of New Zealand culture to adapt and reuse.
NZ Case Studies
International Case Studies
Learn More About CC for Arts and Culture
- On CC writer Cory Doctorow
- Mix & Mash, NZ’s great remix competition
- Our submission to NZ On Air
- Q&A on using Creative Commons
- A post on NZ artists using Creative Commons
If you’ve already used Creative Commons licensing, do get in touch: we’d love to write a case study to help show off your work!